Job Candidates are Worried About the Economy in 2020

Monster's 2020 State of the Candidate Survey reveals how job seekers feel about work and the future state of the job market.

The survey shows that Americans are worried about the economy, and a growing number see it as a potential threat to their job security. This economic anxiety has created a sense of complacency, forcing many workers to remain in their current position despite dissatisfaction and even mental health risks.

Key survey trends:

  • 23% of respondents fear a recession, up seven percentage points from last year's survey

  • 60% of employees are worried about the state of the economy, and more than one-third (35%) fear a recession would place their job in jeopardy

  • 58% of workers say they are not likely to look for a new job in 2020 and are instead hoping to achieve a raise (69%) and learn new skills (42%) in their current position

  • 32% believe their pay is unfair and 34% say their job negatively affects their mental health

"While it's understandable that economics plays a key role in how candidates and recruiters interact, the degree to which they are at odds may negatively impact their ability to find the right fit during the hiring process," said Scott Gutz, CEO, Monster. "If both parties can strive to find common ground, and communicate openly and honestly throughout their engagement, they will most likely develop a positive outcome."

Money remains the motive

Candidates say the top two reasons they started their last job search was due to a desire for a higher salary (40%) and better benefits (21%). However, the majority (60%) believe that recruiters have the upper hand in salary negotiations, while recruiters admit they struggle to address candidate questions about salary (36%) and benefits (34%).

Salary is the most important factor when considering a job offer (73%), with 58% of candidates saying they have turned down an offer because the salary was too low. Moreover, 40% of job seekers said they’d change jobs for a raise and men feel more comfortable negotiating their salaries than women (76% vs 69%).

Source: Monster